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Updated: 1 hour 35 min ago

Podcast Roundup: All the latest of the BTSC family podcasts

Thu, 08/04/2022 - 4:30am

Get the latest BTSC podcast content in the ‘Podcast Roundup’.

The Pittsburgh Steelers seasons come and go with no real offseason, at least not for those diehard fans. For those fans, the preseason bleeds into the regular season, the regular season into the offseason, free agency and the NFL Draft. It is a vicious, never-ending cycle.

Nonetheless, we here at BTSC, and our podcast platform, are here with you every step of the way. In the past we have given you the podcasts in individual articles on the website but have decided to go with a ‘Podcast Roundup’ article which has the latest three podcasts for your enjoyment. The reasoning behind this is to take up less space on the site for the great written content we have at BTSC.

With that being said and typed, enjoy the shows below with a brief description of each show.

The War Room: How big a pay day should the Steelers give Diontae?

NFL wide receivers are getting paid through the facemask and Diontae Johnson is standing in line hoping to get his. How big of a pay day should the Steelers give their fourth-year pass catcher? This will be one of the topics discussed as BTSC invites you to heck out our Aussie perspective and stay a while with Matt Peverell in The Steelers War Room. Join Matty P. for his solo show as he examines the ins-and-outs of the Steelers in an attempt to put you in the mind of Art Rooney II, Mike Tomlin, Omar Khan, Andy Weidl, Sheldon White and Dan Colbert when it comes to personnel.

Rundown of the show:

  • Are the Steelers and Diontae Johnson destined to stay together or part ways?
  • Much More

Check out the BTSC’s Aussie perspective and stay a while with Matty in The Steelers War Room.

The Steelers Curtain Call: Ranking the Steelers against the AFC North

In the Curtain Call finale of 2022, Andrew Wilbar, in for Shannon White, joins Geoffrey Benedict to wrap up the offseason by ranking the Steelers position groups against their AFC North Rivals.

  • News and Notes
  • A look at the position groups of the Steelers vs. the division

Geoffrey and Shannon walk you through everything you need to know regarding the Black-and-Gold.

The Steelers Stat Geek: How much do the Steelers need to improve their run defense?

The Steelers run defense was an Achilles Heel in 2021. What level of improvement is pertinent for Pittsburgh this season? Thank goodness for the Stat Geek to break it all “dahn”. This is just one of the topics that will be discussed by Dave Schofield on the Thursday episode of the AM podcast lineup, “The Steelers Stat Geek”. Join BTSC’s Editor as he pulls out the Steelers slide rule and geeks out only like he can.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • How much improvement is needed to stop the run in the Steel City?
  • and more geeky numbers!

Be sure to check out this and all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

NFL decides to appeal the 6-game suspension ruling of Deshaun Watson

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 3:05pm
Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The suspension of Deshaun Watson isn’t finalized yet.

Monday news broke of the Cleveland Browns, along with the NFL world, finding out what the ruling of Sue Robinson was after her investigation. Fans of the Browns were jubilant when they heard the suspension was six games, and not a full year; however, what fans needed to know was this situation was far from over.

After Robinson’s ruling, the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) stated the ruling would then go to Roger Goodell’s desk. He could accept the ruling, or he could impose his own suspension.

Following the ruling on Monday, the league had three days to appeal Robinson’s ruling, and it has been made public they are doing just that.

This per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network:

Statement from NFL spokesman @NFLprguy on the appeal, which has been filed: pic.twitter.com/n8tceBYinJ

— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 3, 2022

So, what happens now? Goodell and company will give a ruling, which will likely be appealed by the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). At this point, there is a good chance this will be sent back to the courts to be sorted out.

In other words, this is far from over, but there will be several steps along the way to keep an eye on, so be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding not just this story, but the Pittsburgh Steelers as they continue to press on throughout training camp and get ready for the preseason.

Steelers 2022 Training Camp Tracker: Tracking Wednesday’s practice

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 2:17pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers are hitting the field at St. Vincent College in Latrobe to prepare for the 2022 season.

As they continue their second week in Latrobe for 2022 training camp, the Pittsburgh Steelers are getting back on the field at St. Vincent College for practice.

After being forced to hold training camp at Heinz Field the last two seasons, the Steelers are back in Latrobe for four weeks before breaking camp the day before their second preseason game.

When it comes to the training camp schedule, it is much more known than it was the last two years. The Steelers will continue with practice today, their first in full pads. The team is not scheduled to practice on any Sundays, but all other days of the week will see practice of some kind. For those hoping to attend practice at St. Vincent, make sure you reserve your free tickets through Ticketmaster.

Check out the information below as the players hit the field in preparation for the 2022 season, starting with some player interviews before practice if available. If any additional information or reports become available, they will be updated below. Posts will come mostly in chronological order with new updates at the bottom.

The reigning NFL defensive player of the year talked today pic.twitter.com/7sfojEPvnp

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 3, 2022

Asked about his skirmish with rookie 5-ft-7 WR Calvin Austin III yesterday, TJ Watt brushed it off, “Just having some fun.”

Asked if Austin had fun, Watt laughed. “Probably not as much.”

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 3, 2022

Pittsburgh Dad is on campus today. Just conducted an “interview” with Zach Gentry

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 3, 2022

Robert Spillane believes he can be an every-down player.

And by “every down,” he means base, nickel, dime, goal-line…. offense, special teams, the halftime show… pic.twitter.com/L2g67wLooZ

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 3, 2022

An Adirondack chair on the Saint Vincent camps. Seeing it just made me sad. Triggered memories of the late Tunch Ilkin, who ended every work day up here lounging in a chair with a cigar (and best friend Craig Wolfley) pic.twitter.com/kTvzm0yls1

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 3, 2022

When asked what he has to do as a follow-up to winning the Defensive Player of the Year last season, @_TJWatt had a simple answer.

'We’ve got to win a Super Bowl. Simple as that.'

— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) August 3, 2022

Note: It is hot and sticky today at Saint Vincent.

— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 3, 2022

Spillane on the intensity of padded practices: "Coach Tomlin always says, you'd rather say 'WHOA!" than "Sic 'em." And that's his way of saying he wants hungry dogs out there. He'd rather have to pull your leash and tell you to calm down a little bit, than have to rile you up."

— Mike DeFabo (@MikeDeFabo) August 3, 2022

Teryl Austin said the pecking order at inside linebacker remains Myles Jack and Devin Bush followed by Robert Spillane. But said Spillane is keeping himself in the mix.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 3, 2022

Steelers not in pads today. But rumor has it that they'll close practice with a little two-minute drill action

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 3, 2022

Anthony Miller just fielded 7 punts, holding onto every ball as he fielded the 7th — the record for the 2022 camp so far. He gets a giant cheer from the crowd after catching his seventh.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 3, 2022

Steelers aren’t in pads for today’s practice after wearing them the last two days.

It’s a balmy 86 degrees in full sun. UV index hitting 8. A guaranteed sunburn, even with a giant hat and sunscreen. pic.twitter.com/9oOJAPLSGt

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 3, 2022

#Steelers WR Anthony Miller who held on to 6 punted balls a few days ago, does it again to the delight of the #StVincent. Crowd pic.twitter.com/kHQbMN4QpC

— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) August 3, 2022

Now it’s #Steelers WR Tyler Vaughns turn. He gets to 5. Can it make it to 6?? Bragging rights on the line pic.twitter.com/5ATAhSY0A7

— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) August 3, 2022

Gunner Olszewski had a long chat with the officials — first day they’ve been out at Latrobe — on the positioning of gunners and where and how they can run in and out of bounds. pic.twitter.com/CWQ69uYRtA

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 3, 2022

QBs are working on handoffs, then rolling out and throwing to Najee Harris. Doubt Harris practices today, but he’s still staying involved.

Chase Claypool and Pat Freiermuth also not practicing. pic.twitter.com/tmfm4xIEsC

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 3, 2022

Diontae Johnson taking part in individual drills so far. Not sure if #18 will do it all OR will hold in continue #Steelers pic.twitter.com/imPaVdjtDi

— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) August 3, 2022

Trubisky gets 3 reps in Seven Shots-as does Rudolph. Mitch goes 1 for 3 with a Pickens drop denying another score. Mason goes 2 for 3. Pickett gets score on shovel pass to Heyward.

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 3, 2022

Defense just barely wins 7 shots on a controversial final call. Connor Heyward thought he had it on a shovel pass, but official ruled he was touched down short of the line.

Trubisky: 1/3
Rudolph: 2/3
Pickett: 0/1

Trubisky’s TD to Miller breaks a 4-day scoring drought for 1s

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 3, 2022

Nice nab George Pickens in a one-on-one drill. Caught it over Cam Sutton and stayed inbounds on his tip toes. His body control continues to be impressive — especially for a guy his size.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 3, 2022

George Pickens gets the best of Ahkello Witherspoon on the curl route. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/dBHKW1WX6X

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 3, 2022

Calvin Austin vs Arthur Maulet. pic.twitter.com/2PceOAB8oF

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 3, 2022

George Pickens get air! Makes the catch vs Cameron Sutton. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/i3JEiLPJYp

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 3, 2022

Kenny Pickett just hit Calvin Austin for what looked like a nice completion, but it was just a tad late and Arthur Maulet got the PBU.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 3, 2022

Miles Boykin over Justin Layne. pic.twitter.com/GKiiJVYf6e

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 3, 2022

George Pickens and Ahkello Witherspoon go again. Pickens doesn't come down with it, but the ref throws a flag. pic.twitter.com/Ja01wkTHXf

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 3, 2022

George Pickens get air! Makes the catch vs Cameron Sutton. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/i3JEiLPJYp

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 3, 2022

First team sessions starting. It's Kendrick Green over Kevin Dotson today.

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 3, 2022

CB Levi Wallace (illness) is at practice, but not participating

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 3, 2022

Looks like Cam Heyward and TJ Watt are getting a break today. Montravius Adams and Derrek Tsuka are playing the 1s in the first team period.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 3, 2022

No hitting today, but Anthony McFarland definitely has some juice. He has been impressive the past few days. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/yjk2wqVi6H

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 3, 2022

The QBs have been rotating throughout skill groups in this period. Doesn’t seem as defined as previous periods with distinct 1s, 2s and 3s. https://t.co/xZRf1sMsJE

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 3, 2022

Anthony McFarland again. This time on the jet sweep. pic.twitter.com/dM3NxA3e7Z

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 3, 2022

RB Mataeo Durant bounces it outside. pic.twitter.com/EEUP0o9O2B

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 3, 2022

@Mtrubisky10 pic.twitter.com/dLuGCbHodY

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 3, 2022

Steelers place Jeremy McNichols on IR, add another RB

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 12:47pm
Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The McNichols era didn’t last long…

The excitement of the Pittsburgh Steelers adding Jeremy McNichols on the day the team reported to training camp was short lived.

After the first padded practice of camp, McNichols left with a shoulder injury. Mike Tomlin said the injury needed further evaluation, and it is now obvious the injury was worse than originally thought.

Wednesday the team announced they placed McNichols on Injured Reserve (IR).

We have signed RB Master Teague III and placed RB Jeremy McNichols on the Reserve/Injured List. @BordasLaw https://t.co/KGrAmnKRC2

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 3, 2022

With McNichols going on IR, the team needed to add to the position depth and signed Master Teague III.

Teague played his college football at Ohio State and was an undrafted rookie free agent (UDFA) by the Chicago Bears before being released three days later.

The running back depth has been hindered not just with McNichols’ injury, but also a foot injury sustained by Najee Harris when his foot was stepped on in practice.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of training camp and the preseason.

Steelers bring in David Morehouse as Senior Advisor

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 12:13pm
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have added a familiar face around the city of Pittsburgh to their front office team.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are starting to re-shape their front office by adding a new position. The position title is Senior Advisor to the President, and the person the organization hired for the job is David Morehouse.

Morehouse is a name many fans of Pittsburgh sports should know. He was named the Penguins team President in 2007 and added the CEO title in 2010, before stepping down as CEO and President this past April.

We have hired David Morehouse as Senior Advisor to the President.https://t.co/wffoSIPQt9

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 3, 2022

What will Morehouse be doing for the Steelers? The official Steelers website said he will “focus primarily on community and League-related initiatives in the newly created position.”

“We are excited that David is joining the Pittsburgh Steelers,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II. “He was very successful during his tenure with the Pittsburgh Penguins, guiding them to a championship-caliber team both on the ice and in their community efforts. He will help us in many areas in the Pittsburgh community and Acrisure Stadium, as well as assisting in many NFL initiatives that involve the Pittsburgh Steelers. We are thrilled for David to continue his success with the Steelers.”

For Morehouse, a Pittsburgh native who attended Duquesne University, this is an exciting new chapter to his professional career.

“This is an exciting day for me and my family,” Morehouse said. “I have spent my entire life watching and rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the greatest and most respected franchises in all professional sports.

“During my time with the Penguins, I tried to learn from the Steelers and incorporate many of the things that Art II and his family have done with the team. It was an honor to work for great owners at the Penguins in Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, and now I have a chance to work for Art and the Rooney family. It’s a dream come true for a Pittsburgh kid.”

The Steelers with new General Manager (GM) Omar Khan will look different in a lot of ways, but the addition of Morehouse should be viewed as a positive for the organization, even if it doesn’t necessarily equate to more wins in 2022.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of training camp and the preseason.

When does the talk of “It’s just…” actually end?

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 11:30am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers’ fans are constantly being told not to put too much value into certain things. So when can they?

As the Pittsburgh Steelers continue their preparation for the 2022 NFL season, it seems as if Steelers’ fans are constantly being reminded to not overreact to every little thing. Throughout the offseason workouts and minicamp, fans were constantly told “It’s just football in shorts…” and to not draw conclusions so early in the process.

When the Steelers reported to St. Vincent College in Latrobe for training camp, the excitement among the fan base was obvious. On the day the team reported, fans were already set up with bringing down expectations as they were told “It’s just the run test on the first day.” While this statement is obviously true and no football activities were being performed, it’s just a reminder to not read too much into every little detail.

But then the first day of practice came. The much anticipated return to Latrobe with fans watching was a beautiful thing, even for those who were not in attendance. The Steelers were back on the field and the preparation for the 2022 season was really getting underway. But even as the next step was made, fans were reminded “It’s just the first day of practice.” After all, the team wasn’t even in pads.

As the practices moved on, none of which were in pads, they were multiple times where either someone covering the Steelers or even a coach said something to the effect of “It’s just the first week.” When Kenny Pickett finally got a chance on Friday to take one rep in the “7 shots’ drill, the excitement for those waiting to see what the Steelers 2022 first-round draft pick can do was abundant. But after practice, fans were reminded “It’s just one throw on one play.”

Yes, we live in a world of overreaction. One little thing can set people into a tailspin of joy or frustration. It’s often important to suppress these things and not overvalue them. But at what point can fans put any value to things they see or hear with the Steelers?

Here are some other statements Steelers’ fans will likely hear in the coming weeks…

“It’s just the first practice with pads.”

“It’s just the first preseason game.”

“It’s just the preseason.”

“It’s just the first game of the season.”

Wait. Are fans seriously going to have to keep hearing that it’s nothing to get worked up about after the regular season begins?

Chances are, they probably are going to hear this. In fact, I would not be surprised to hear something like this from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin following their first regular season game as they have taken this approach in the past…

“This is just the first game of a very long season. We are far from the finished product and must continue to get better every time we take the field. This is the moving train that is the NFL regular season.”

So when can Steelers fans finally look at something happening on the practice field, in a preseason game, or during a regular season game and be able to get excited about it in one way or another?

Honestly, get excited now. Get excited over every pass at training camp. Get excited over the plays in the preseason. They all matter, and they all are important. But they are only one piece of a large puzzle.

If fans aren’t supposed to get excited over minicamp, you also have to remember that minicamp is important in the process. The first practice at training camp is part of that process as well. If fans aren’t supposed to get too excited about what goes on in these practices, it doesn't mean there’s nothing to be learned.

Every step along the way is a process where each step is important. As for that first pass that Kenny Pickett threw in “7 shots” on Friday, it’s important. So will the other passes that he throws as training camp goes on. They shouldn’t be dismissed, but they should also be looked at as part of a bigger picture.

While the downplaying of things going on with the Steelers is ultimately about drawing a conclusion too soon, it doesn’t mean that the information is irrelevant. Every little thing matters. Within an NFL game, sometimes it’s just one pass, one trip, one missed tackle, one bounce of the ball, or one of any number of things that can ultimately decide the game. Every play has the potential to be the biggest play of the game. And every part of practice has the potential to be the determining factor in drawing conclusions about players and the team for 2022. It’s the nature of the game of football.

If you are the type of fan who likes to get a much bigger picture before drawing conclusions, then you’re probably fine with how everything is progressing. If you are the type of fan that likes to critique and evaluate every play and every report from practice, that’s fine as well. There’s no problem in doing that. You don’t have to downplay what happened because “it’s just training camp.”

But also don’t use one play as your only data point for a conclusion. Yes, that one play where a quarterback makes a bad decision matters, even in a practice in training camp with no pads on a Thursday. But it’s not the only thing that matters. It’s not a conclusion drawn on one play, it’s one play out of 10. Or 50. Or 100.

The bottom line is to not downplay the present at the expense of the future. Although the phrase “It’s just…” is a reminder that there are bigger and better things to come, it does not take away the importance of each thing happening in the present and how it helps to build the future. While there’s no need to overreact, there’s also not the need for things to be downplayed to a high degree.

Signing FA Tyrell Crosby should be a no-brainer for the Steelers

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 10:00am
Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Steelers could fill their need at offensive tackle for practically nothing.

Historically, the Steelers do not prioritize the offensive tackle position. The Steelers lines of old have primarily consisted of dominant centers and at least one high-profile guard next to them, and offensive tackle always tends to take a back seat. Marcus Gilbert had his moments at right tackle, and Matt Feiler was more than sufficient at that same spot after Gilbert left. However, the left side is often ignored by the front office, and very little capital has been dedicated to that position despite its increasing importance.

Dan Moore, Jr. was an experienced left tackle in college who showed improvement at the end of last season, but the fact that his traits profile him more as a right tackle indicates he may have played out of position at Texas A&M. Perhaps this is why, despite the fantastic offensive line Moore was a part of, he never reached his full potential in college and dropped to Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft. We have seen flashes from Moore, but he has not shown any signs of being great on the left side.

If the Steelers had the luxury of moving Moore to the right side, the entire unit up front could see a drastic improvement. Unfortunately, that would then leave a hole at the most important position on the line: left tackle. Chukwuma Okorafor was an impressive left tackle in college, but after being trained almost exclusively as a right tackle in the NFL, it is difficult to determine whether or not he could hold his own and protect the quarterback’s blindside. Regardless of who plays at which tackle position, depth is another concern, as Joe Haeg is the only proven backup behind Moore and Okorafor.

That brings us to potential solutions. The most ideal fit in the eyes of the media would be former Kansas City Chief and Indianapolis Colt Eric Fisher, but even though I would rather sign him than role with who the team currently has, there is another option who is younger, cheaper, and better. That option is none other than Tyrell Crosby.

Crosby is a 26 year-old offensive tackle, formerly with the Detroit Lions. Crosby struggled with holding penalties early in his career, but he cleaned those issues up following the 2019 season, being responsible for only 2 holds in 11 games during the 2020 season. In 1,184 professional snaps, he has allowed only 7 sacks, consistently displaying great balance and footwork in pass protection. He has also matured greatly as a run blocker, especially as it pertains to gaining leverage.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “why is he available if he is as good as you say?” Well, can I say bad luck, even though I do not believe in luck? Crosby is the victim of an unfortunate circumstance in which an injury was misdiagnosed by the Lions coaching staff. He was originally listed on the injury report with a hamstring injury, but all indications suggest the injury was misdiagnosed, as he underwent back surgery three months after the original diagnosis of a hamstring strain.

Crosby has struggled to hide his frustration with the Lions organization and how they handled the situation last year, and after a recent interview with Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, he fully opened up about the situation, saying he felt betrayed by how he was treated in Detroit last year.

Not being there personally, I cannot speak on how the Lions truly treated him, but it seems as if he was simply a victim of an unfortunate circumstance. He seems ready to get a fresh start elsewhere, and that is what makes the Steelers such a match for him. He would have every opportunity to earn a starting role as the season progresses, and he would be in a healthy organization that has a long track record of treating its players well.

While I understand the injury concerns that come along with a signing of this nature, one must also realize that signing Crosby would cost hardly anything, making him the perfect low-risk, high-reward option the Steelers could so desperately use at offensive tackle.

What are your thoughts on Crosby? Do you see him as a potential fit in Pittsburgh? Be sure to light up the comment section below with your thoughts on this topic and all things black and gold!

Training Camp Recap, Day 6: QB shuffle and skirmishes continue

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 8:30am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back at Training Camp, and it is time to check out what went down during the latest practice!

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back at Saint Vincent College for the first time since 2019, and fans have descended on Latrobe, PA in hopes of catching a glimpse of the 2022 team.

What went down during the latest training camp practice? That is where this article comes in. Check out all that was said, as well as photos and videos from the day’s workouts.

Here we go...

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot of questions marks across the roster, and it will take every practice and preseason game for the coaching staff to find a way to get answers to those questions. There were a lot of storylines to come out of Tuesday’s practice, and we highlight some of those below:

7 Shots

The Steelers continued their tradition of starting practices with their 7 Shots drill, and it was dominated by the defense, again. However, with Kenny Pickett getting more repetitions with the second team, Mitch Trubisky continues to get all the starting repetitions. It’s been since last Thursday when Trubisky orchestrated a score, and you have to wonder when someone else gets their shot with the starters?

Seven Shots tally:
Trubisky 0 for 4
Pickett 1 for 2
Rudolph 1 for 1

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 2, 2022

Positive Signs

Some will read the below tweet from Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and read about another camp skirmish, but don’t forget the last sentence which states the offensive line is showing some progress. Any progress is good progress.

Another spirited team run drill. Cam Heyward gets kicked out after another fight. Some good running from Jaylen Warren. I’d say the offensive line got after the defensive line and had the better of the play.

— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 2, 2022

Another “Spirited” Workout

Speaking of skirmishes, Tuesday’s practice, the second straight with pads, which saw several dust-ups between the offense and the defense. While Calvin Austin took umbrage with T.J. Watt standing over him, it was Cam Heyward who had a bone to pick with juts about anyone who lined up across from him.

After being tackled for a loss on a quick shovel pass, little Calvin Austin takes exception to TJ Watt straddling him. Pushing and shoving ensues with teammates getting Watt out of the way.

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 2, 2022

Cam Heyward is fired up after the last rep of the team period. He had to be held back by teammates after a Benny Snell run.

Then TJ Watt makes a hard tackle of Calvin Austin on an end around and has to be separated.

It’s feisty out here today.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 2, 2022

Cam Heyward and Dan Moore with a little fight after one on one run drill.

— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 2, 2022

Jaylen Warren turning heads

With Najee Harris out day-to-day with a foot injury and Jeremy McNichols out with a shoulder injury, it gave more repetitions to Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland and some of the undrafted rookie free agents. One in particular is showing out, and that is Jaylen Warren. Warren has gotten rave reviews from Tomlin, and is getting noticed by everyone in camp.

Jaylen Warren continues to look good. Looks smooth as a route runner. Sets things up well. Beats Mark Robinson a couple of times. And Robinson's not bad in coverage.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 2, 2022

More Pickens Praise

Everyone knows all about the plays George Pickens has made catching the football, but his physicality is also getting some attention as the wide receivers and defensive backs had one-on-one drills Tuesday.

George Pickens is really physical as a blocker. Team working WRs on DBs. He did good work against both Witherspoon and Sutton.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 2, 2022

Mark Robinson showing up

7th Round draft pick Mark Robinson was viewed as a project, but the former Ole Miss linebacker is determined to prove he belongs. He had a great showing with pads on for the first time Monday, but Tuesday he showed the ability to cover.

Yesterday rookie ILB Mark Robinson opened eyes with his run-stopping. Just now he made a nice play in coverage during 1-on-1 drills vs. running backs. Had to leave his feet to get a hand on it.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 2, 2022

Kazee taking advantage

With Minkah Fitzpatrick still on the Non-Football Injury List (NFI), Damontae Kazee has been putting his best foot forward in his stead. Kazee has made several plays in camp, most recently was an interception of Mitch Trubisky on Tuesday. Fitzpatrick’s misfortune is showing the coaching staff Kazee is more than capable of holding down the fort if called upon in any way.

Damontae Kazee intercepts Trubisky over the middle on a pass nowhere near the intended receiver.

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 2, 2022

Trubisky Struggles

As stated earlier in the 7 Shots summary, Mitch Trubisky is struggling right now and not only in the 7 Shots drill. Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review outlined one of his 11-on-11 team sessions today. Not good.

Mitch Trubisky just had an awful 4-play 11-on-11 series in which he threw an INT, hit another defender in the back with a throw, shoulda been sacked, and had no completions

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Mike Tomlin Post-Practice Press Conference

"I was really pleased with today's work." Coach Tomlin pic.twitter.com/vxwXEvqjdN

— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) August 2, 2022

GM Omar Khan Press Conference

LIVE: GM Omar Khan addresses the media. https://t.co/EsHMm2QVhq

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 2, 2022

Video

Work zone ⚠️ #SteelersCamp pic.twitter.com/i0ztHEqY65

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 2, 2022

THE MAN HIMSELF‼️ pic.twitter.com/Gl1IdHbxLh

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 2, 2022

What a champ ✊ pic.twitter.com/Ae64hjJ2lf

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 2, 2022

Photos

pic.twitter.com/sefEcztcia

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 2, 2022

Another day of #SteelersCamp content coming your way. pic.twitter.com/NieWwAKfTU

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 2, 2022

Another day in the books @AcrisureLLC

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 3, 2022

6 players mentioned by Mike Tomlin following Tuesday’s training camp practice

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 7:15am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking to the media following practice each day of training camp, the Steelers head coach answered a few questions about specific players.

As the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers continue to practice for training camp at St. Vincent College on Tuesday, we were also graced with a media session from head coach Mike Tomlin. For that reason, it’s time for another installment of the “players mentioned” article. Remember these are current players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.

Levi Wallace

One of the Steelers free agent signings earlier this spring who has missed time at training camp is cornerback Levi Wallace. Coach Tomlin was asked if Wallace has a physical ailment.

“He was sick.”

Jaylen Warren

One of the Steelers undrafted free agents from 2022 who has made a lot of splash since the pads have come on is running back in Jaylen Warren. Coach Tomlin was asked what Warren has done to catch his eye during his reps.

“He appears to be highly conditioned. I think it starts there for a young guy. We always say one man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity, and there are some short lines for running back. But if you’re not highly conditioned, you’re not positioning yourself to take advantage of it, so kudos to him for coming ready.”

James Daniels

On Tuesday, Steelers new offensive lineman James Daniels said he’s been impressed with getting to know his line mates and their ability to communicate. Coach Tomlin was asked if the communication mentioned by Daniels has started to manifest into play.

“I think they would be in a better position than myself to answer that question from a communication standpoint. But again, they’re growing individually and collectively.”

Kenny Pickett

Earlier on Tuesday, Steelers general manager Omar Khan had a press conference and, when he was asked what would make a successful training camp in Kenny Pickett, he mentioned growth. Coach Tomlin was asked Is there any specifics he’s looking for in Pickett’s growth through training camp.

“Play making. He’s not a 7B, you know what I mean? We expect quality playmaking and a quick maturation process, and we like the things that he’s doing thus far.”

Diontae Johnson

Especially since he’s still not participating in team activities, Diontae Johnson is a big topic of discussion. Coach Tomlin was asked, even though he likes to focus on the players on the field, if there’s a point where the work becomes counterproductive to not have Johnson on the field.

“You’re exactly right. I like to focus on the guys that are working.”

Jeremy McNichols

The Steelers added another running back to their roster the day they reported to training camp. Unfortunately, Jeremy McNichols has missed practice due to an injury. Coach Tomlin was asked if there was an update on McNichols since the previous day when he said he was being evaluated.

“I don’t have the results of that evaluation, but he is being evaluated today. His shoulder.”

Mike Tomlin’s media session can be seen HERE on the Steelers YouTube channel.

Understanding the suggested 6-game suspension for Deshaun Watson

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 6:00am
Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Looking deeper into the report from the Honorable Sue Robinson.

The reaction to the announcement of a suggested 6-game suspension for Deshaun Watson has brought a lot of public outcry. Articles and comments denouncing the recommended punishment abound on the internet. Many people are justifiably upset and pointing to the inconsistency with which the NFL punishes players for violations which pale in comparison to the allegations against Deshaun Watson. I read the text of the report and have read several reactions from lawyers and legal experts, and I wanted to go through the report to show why the Honorable Sue Robinson made the recommendation she did.

I will try to keep the language as mild as possible, but the subject we are discussing is upsetting. Please use discretion.

I will quote and reference the report a lot in this article, the full text can be found here, courtesy of the New York Times.

I’m going to break down the report into three parts that I feel are necessary to understanding the recommendation.

1 - The NFL is the only real authority in this decision

This is a point Judge Robinson makes clear from the very beginning. She starts her report talking about the collective bargaining agreement, and the language that gives the NFL the right to set their own guidelines and rules. She makes it clear that this process is part of the NFL’s internal actions, that the NFL is the one with the power to set up the rules by which it punishes it’s players, that they also define the terms in those rules, and that they are the ones that defined her role in the process.

When she finds Deshaun Watson guilty of sexual assault, it is the NFL’s definition of sexual assault, and not state or federal law, that she is using. This is important. The NFL is the authority here, there is no other authority that matters in this specific decision. When Judge Robinson determines whether Watson violated NFL regulations, when she suggests punishment, it is all based on the NFL’s rules. It is not her; it is not state law, it is not public opinion that matters. This is an internal NFL matter, and it will be decided by their rules. She goes out of her way to make this point throughout the report.

2 - The findings

Judge Robinson is clear that she is following the NFL’s rules and their definitions, and that the only evidence she is considering is the evidence the NFL presented. The NFL contends that Watson violated three provisions of the personal conduct policy:

1 - Sexual Assault. Defined by the NFL as “unwanted sexual contact with another person.”

2 - Conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety and well-being of another person.

3 - Conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity of the NFL.

Judge Robinson finds that he violated all three of those provisions. Her rationale for finding that he violated the personal conduct policy can be summed up in a few points.

1 - Watson showed no interest in finding qualified professionals, he never sought that information, but consistently was concerned with making sure the massage was private.

2 - He went out of his way to ensure that sexual contact would happen by the type of massages he requested, and by his actions during the massage.

3 - He did not alter his course of action even as the women he hired consistently refused to work with him again.

4 - The type of massages Watson was seeking frequently involve accidental contact, and yet he insisted that no such contact ever happened, making his denials incredibly improbable and, in the end, not credible.

5 - Watson consistently brought the NFL into the situation by leveraging his status as an NFL quarterback.

Deshaun Watson looked for massages that involved the groin area. He wanted those massages to be private, and specifically from people who didn’t have an established customer base, leveraging his status as an NFL star. He then took actions to increase both the likelihood and amount of sexualized contact that occurred during the massage. Multiple therapists complained to him about his conduct and “none of these therapists accepted Mr. Watson’s invitations to engage in further therapy sessions”.

Judge Robinson thus rules out that the sexual contact was consensual or accidental, that the therapists he hired found the experience to be negative enough to refuse to work with him again, and that his use of his status as an NFL quarterback met the NFL’s standards for undermining the integrity of the NFL.

As Judge Robinson explains each finding, she reiterates that it is the NFL’s terms and definitions that are deciding the case.

3 - Why only 6 games?

Everything before this has painted a pretty nasty picture of Deshaun Watson. No matter how you view this case, the evidence presented to Judge Robinson is pretty damning.

As I’ve made clear, Judge Robinson lets us know throughout the entire report that the NFL is the only authority here. So when Judge Robinson turns to making a judgement on the appropriate punishment, the NFL is the one setting the standard. There is no other standard to look at, the NFL is the only authority in this situation.

The majority of the Disciplinary Determination section of the report is spent going over the history of the NFL enacting punishments through the personal conduct clause. There is a clear focus by the NFL Players Association on the Ray Rice decision in 2014, and the change in the standard of punishment for violent conduct that was enacted then. The NFL revised their policies and set a much stricter standard of punishment for violent offenders.

The key part being that the NFL made it official, they put it into writing and all players had notice of the change. The conduct of Deshaun Watson, while reprehensible, does not fall under the NFL’s violent offender clause. The NFL argued for at least a year based on this case being unprecedented in the category of non-violent sexual offenses. And while Judge Robinson agrees that the offense is unprecedented in the non-violent category, she also found that in the NFL’s history that a 6-game suspension is also unprecedented as a punishment for such an offense.

In the end the crux of the recommendation of a 6-game suspension is the NFL’s lack of punishment for previous non-violent cases, the severity of cases in the past that have warranted a 6-game suspension, and the fact that the NFL has never made an official statement that non-violent offenses would be taken more seriously in the future.

The Conclusion

In my opinion, this report ends up being as much a condemnation of the NFL as it is a condemnation of Deshaun Watson’s behavior. Judge Robinson makes it clear that Watson’s behavior was awful, but that in a court room entirely controlled by the NFL, it is wrong to suddenly change the standard because of how high profile this situation is.

I walked away from the report feeling like Judge Robinson was telling the NFL that if it is going to take mistreatment of women seriously, then it needs to take it seriously all the time, not just when a horrific video surfaces or an incredibly high-profile case occurs. I hope they listen.

Podcast Roundup: All the latest of the BTSC family podcasts

Wed, 08/03/2022 - 4:30am

Get the latest BTSC podcast content in the ‘Podcast Roundup’.

The Pittsburgh Steelers seasons come and go with no real offseason, at least not for those diehard fans. For those fans, the preseason bleeds into the regular season, the regular season into the offseason, free agency and the NFL Draft. It is a vicious, never-ending cycle.

Nonetheless, we here at BTSC, and our podcast platform, are here with you every step of the way. In the past we have given you the podcasts in individual articles on the website but have decided to go with a ‘Podcast Roundup’ article which has the latest three podcasts for your enjoyment. The reasoning behind this is to take up less space on the site for the great written content we have at BTSC.

With that being said and typed, enjoy the shows below with a brief description of each broadcasted episode.

The Steelers Fix: Tight End and Running Back Fantasy Sleepers

As we start thinking about our fantasy teams for the 2022 campaign, it’s good to consider all things when drafting your players. Looking for some winning strategies? This week, Jeremy Betz and Andrew Wilbar look at sleepers at the running back and tight end positions to consider for your 2022 roster.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • Sleepers at the running back and tight end positions
  • and MUCH MORE!
The Scho Bro Show: A first-hand account of Steelers 2022 training camp

There has been plenty of news coming out of Steelers training camp so far in 2022. But how has the experience been for fans as they return to St. Vincent College to check out their team? This will be just one of the subjects that will be discussed in the latest installment of the BTSC family of podcasts.

As always, it sure is a good time to get on the airwaves and discuss the black-and-gold. On this show, Dave and Big Bro Scho break down all things Steelers, still talk stats, and also answer questions from fans.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • Training Camp through BTSC eyes

Dave and Rich walk you through everything you need to know regarding the black-and-gold.

Let’s Ride Wednesday: Beware media bias when following Steelers camp

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, but fans should be weary of media bias. This is the main topic that will be discussed on the latest episode of the morning flagship show in the BTSC family of podcasts, “Let’s Ride” with BTSC Senior Editor Jeff Hartman. Join Jeff for this and more on the Wednesday episode of “Let’s Ride”.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • Media Bias and seeing through it
  • The Mail Bag
  • and MUCH MORE!

Be sure to check out this and all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

Steelers 2022 Training Camp Tracker: Tracking Tuesday’s practice

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 3:37pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers are hitting the field at St. Vincent College in Latrobe to prepare for the 2022 season.

As they continue their second week in Latrobe for 2022 training camp, the Pittsburgh Steelers are getting back on the field at St. Vincent College for practice.

After being forced to hold training camp at Heinz Field the last two seasons, the Steelers are back in Latrobe for four weeks before breaking camp the day before their second preseason game.

When it comes to the training camp schedule, it is much more known than it was the last two years. The Steelers will continue with practice today, their first in full pads. The team is not scheduled to practice on any Sundays, but all other days of the week will see practice of some kind. For those hoping to attend practice at St. Vincent, make sure you reserve your free tickets through Ticketmaster.

Check out the information below as the players hit the field in preparation for the 2022 season, starting with some player interviews before practice if available. If any additional information or reports become available, they will be updated below. Posts will come mostly in chronological order with new updates at the bottom.

The new $20 million man, as even-keeled as ever, even on a big life day for him pic.twitter.com/2W1EJxhvDX

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Dan Moore on how it was challenging to start in the NFL at left tackle as a 4th-rd rookie but how that benefits him going forward pic.twitter.com/PjTOOpgrtu

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Mason Rudolph said the QB1/QB2/QB3 reps are preordained and he’s nonplussed about where he is on the depth chart on a particular day pic.twitter.com/2ZuylEgOvg

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Diontae Johnson is putting on his pads today. Full practice?

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 2, 2022

Johnson also has regular football spikes on today. Looks like he might return as a full participant.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 2, 2022

Najee Harris not practicing today. Nor is Pat Freiermuth. Nor is Chase Claypool. None are considered serious.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 2, 2022

THE MAN HIMSELF‼️ pic.twitter.com/Gl1IdHbxLh

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 2, 2022

No change in status for Diontae Johnson today. He’s doing his normal “hold-I’m” routine.

— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 2, 2022

Najee Harris isn’t in pads today, but that’s not stopping him from joining in team stretch. No sign of a limp. Steelers said yesterday the injury — his left foot got stepped on — wasn’t serious. pic.twitter.com/E2W9hYOZD9

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 2, 2022

Cornerback Levi Wallace also out today for the Steelers. None of the other injured guys are back yet.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 2, 2022

Another day of #SteelersCamp content coming your way. pic.twitter.com/NieWwAKfTU

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 2, 2022

Najee Harris out, but everything he does he does with passion and energy. I’ll let you know if he gets a forced fumble pic.twitter.com/Qe0WleWENq

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 2, 2022

Diontae Johnson is in shells today. Working but apparently again not in team dills

(as an aside that is my first ever gif!) pic.twitter.com/yY8MNeWM1m

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Steelers 7 shots now. Kendrick Green at LG. Mitch Trubisky goes up top right corner of the end zone to Cody White, who made a nice grab but slot corner Arthur Maulet made a nicer play to run with him the whole way and push him out of bounds.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 2, 2022

Shovel pass from Trubisky. Watt swallows it up. pic.twitter.com/0FlBWvh81P

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 2, 2022

Kendrick Green at LG1 today. Spillane in for MJack

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Another 0-for for Mitch Trubisky in Seven Shots Might be on a 14-play personal scoreless streak

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Trubisky to Heyward, but drops the pass. pic.twitter.com/Z05ukB7Bfz

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 2, 2022

Kenny Pickett gets the first second-team rep of 7 shots, but Joe Haeg false starts so he’s back to the 7. Still scramble, steps up and fires a laser to Jace Sternberger into the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 2, 2022

Kenny Pickett rolls out and finds Jace Sternberger. Would have been a sack, but a nice play. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/uVlDwMb3Uk

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 2, 2022

Not to be outdone, Mason Rudolph gets the final snap again, sprints out right, keeps his eyes downfield and threads the needle to a sliding Miles Boykin in the back of the end zone for another touchdown.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 2, 2022

Mason Rudolph rolls and finds Miles Boykin in the back of the end zone. pic.twitter.com/o04W4kgrOQ

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 2, 2022

Same division of labor today for QBs in Seven Shots

4 snaps for Mitch
(2nd teamsrs come in)
2 for Pickett
1 for Mason

Trubisky we are in practice #6 and he has yet to take one rep with 2nd or 3rd teamers

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Seems we may be getting some precipitation soon in Latrobe. Practice started out super sunny, now has cooled off thanks to a breeze and these clouds.

This has been your training camp meteorology report. pic.twitter.com/XGzeAFD27e

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 2, 2022

Yesterday rookie ILB Mark Robinson opened eyes with his run-stopping. Just now he made a nice play in coverage during 1-on-1 drills vs. running backs. Had to leave his feet to get a hand on it.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 2, 2022

Cam Heyward and Dan Moore with a little fight after one on one run drill.

— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 2, 2022

George Pickens is really physical as a blocker. Team working WRs on DBs. He did good work against both Witherspoon and Sutton.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 2, 2022

Najee Harris is not practicing but is not limping and has no visible encumberment on his foot.

He just spent a few minutes instructing rookie RB Jaylen Warren on pass-protection blocking skills pic.twitter.com/nrKavOTF4o

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Jaylen Warren continues to look good. Looks smooth as a route runner. Sets things up well. Beats Mark Robinson a couple of times. And Robinson's not bad in coverage.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 2, 2022

pic.twitter.com/sefEcztcia

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 2, 2022

Final play of that backs on backers pass drill was Warren going down the sideline with Robinson in coverage. He got a step, but couldn't make the leaping catch.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 2, 2022

Benny Snell just pissed off Cam Heyward, who went ballistic and needed help back by defensive teammates as he tried to get to Snell agent a hard shove

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Cam Heyward and Benny Snell get into a pushing match after an inside run. Heyward goes after Snell. Next play, outside jet sweep to Calvin Austin. Watt takes him down and kind of stands over him. Austin gets up going after Watt. Feisty today.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 2, 2022

Jaylen Warren continues to show good power in this run period. OL helped push him to a first down, then he breaks a couple tackles and drags defenders for extra yards.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 2, 2022

Another spirited team run drill. Cam Heyward gets kicked out after another fight. Some good running from Jaylen Warren. I’d say the offensive line got after the defensive line and had the better of the play.

— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 2, 2022

Damontae Kazee intercepts Trubisky over the middle on a pass nowhere near the intended receiver.

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 2, 2022

Common themes thru one week at Steelers camp:

1st-team DL dominates 1st-team OL

2nd-team OL dominates 2nd-team DL

3rd-team DL dominates 3rd-team OL

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Mitch Trubisky just had an awful 4-play 11-on-11 series in which he threw an INT, hit another defender in the back with a throw, shoulda been sacked, and had no completions

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Kenny Pickett’s looked like the best quarterback today. Just had a nice deep completion on the sideline to Steven Sims. About a 25-yard pass

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 2, 2022

Kenny Pickett with one of his biggest plays so far in camp. Finds Steven Sims down the sideline for a huge gain. Not a perfect ball, but I like the willingness to let it loose. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/uyCDypc0tO

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 2, 2022

Work zone ⚠️ #SteelersCamp pic.twitter.com/i0ztHEqY65

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 2, 2022

#Steelers 11 on 11 passing drills
Trubisky 0 for 4, INT
Pickett. 2-3 w a scramble and deep back shoulder to Steven Sims
Rudolph 1-3 w a scramble, drop & ball tipped at the line. #HereWeGo @937theFan

— Jeff Hathhorn (@jhathhorn) August 2, 2022

Trubisky finds Anthony Miller. pic.twitter.com/ODFujdzDFz

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 2, 2022

Jaylen Warren finds a little room. Nice run off left guard. pic.twitter.com/0Qshmec15V

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 2, 2022

Mason Rudolph just hit Calvin Austin in stride deep down the sideline for his best pass of the day in a team period

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 2, 2022

65yd TD pass Mason Rudolph to Calvin Austin, who beat Linden Stephens for a 35 -air-yard pass down the left sideline

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Mason Rudolph to rookie WR Calvin Austin with the play of the day so far. Dropped it in a bucket deep down the sideline. Great throw and catch. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/UFyt3iaWeo

— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) August 2, 2022

It's been a rough go of it today again for the QBs. In third-down drills, the defense was blitzing -- a lot. Several plays that would have been sacks. Pickett needs to get his hot reads down.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 2, 2022

Pickett did do a nice job of changing a play at the line after a shift and setting up Jaylen Warren for a weakside run that was a nice gainer. Good to see the young QB seeing that.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 2, 2022

Another little skirmish today. Chris Wormley went after someone in one-on-ones. Couldn't tell who. But that who one-on-one session was spirited.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 2, 2022

Practice for the Steelers has just ended for the day

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 2, 2022

Practice over, Mike Tomlin says Najee Harris is day to day. Levi Wallace still dealing with an illness.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 2, 2022

Mike Tomlin’s post-practice opening remarks pic.twitter.com/SLMDPkYOJJ

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Mike Tomlin again dodged a question about Diontae Johnson’s lack of practice participation

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Jaylen Warren is becoming a proverbial Camp Darling™️ pic.twitter.com/QjttYivQD1

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 2, 2022

Skies just opened up after practice and sent media sprinting back to the workroom. Adding amateur weather woman to my twitter bio asap.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 2, 2022

Chase Claypool working with Mitch Trubisky after practice since he’s missing days/reps with his shoulder injury pic.twitter.com/HGYJymOcQc

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 2, 2022

9 players mentioned by Omar Khan in Tuesday’s press conference

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 2:32pm
Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

After one week at training camp, the Steelers’ general manager spoke to the media on Tuesday.

As the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers continue their preparation for the upcoming season at St. Vincent College, Tuesday brought a press conference from Steeler’s general manager Omar Khan. Since there was a number of questions asked about players, it’s time for another installment of the “players mentioned” article. Remember these are current players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.

Diontae Johnson

There were so many questions asked about Diontae Johnson and his contract situation, it’s best to just get to them. Khan was asked if there is anything going on with Deonte Johnson.

“Conversations we have with Diontae and his representatives are going to stay between us. We won’t discuss them publicly. But we’ve been in conversations.”

In a later question, Khan was asked If he is okay with Johnson sitting out.

“Obviously, you want everyone out practicing. We’ve taken the approach that we’re using it as an opportunity to look at the other guys that are practicing. Especially the young guys get some good work. Let’s just say we want Diontae. We’re excited to have him as part of this team. We hope he’s going to be a Steeler for a long time.”

In a follow-up question, Khan was asked if Johnson not being able to work with the new quarterbacks is a concern of his and Coach Tomlin.

“I can’t speak for Coach. Obviously, like I mentioned, you wish you had everybody out there practicing. Sometimes it’s for different reasons. Sometimes it can be for injuries. Our focus is on the guys that are practicing. We’re taking the opportunity to evaluate those guys, see how they connect.”

In another follow-up question, Khan was asked about the wide receiver market taking off recently.

“I think it’s a function of the times and the system that we’re in. It’s just part of the process. Positionally, regardless of the position, I assume those things are going to continue to grow. As the CBA grows, the contracts will grow.”

In a later question, Khan was asked about Diontae Johnson holding in compared to the other players who have done so in the last year and if he is concerned of it becoming too much of a norm.

“Every one of these situations is different. Obviously, that’s something that’s happened league wide, right? Happened more this year than last year. Realistically it’s probably going to continue to happen league wide.”

In yet another later question, Khan was asked if he can fine players who are healthy and not practicing and if he’s explored that option.

“There are obviously options out there. We’re focused on wanting Diontae here, so... We’ll keep those discussions, as you can imagine, internal.”

The final question regarding Diontae Johnson had to do with the recent signings of other wide receivers in the last week around the NFL and how it affects the market for Johnson.

“Obviously when things happen, it adds to the conversation. Let me put it that way, yeah.”

T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, & Chris Boswell

Over the last year, the Steelers have worked out contract extension with three players going into the last year of their deal, all of which received the top dollar for their position. Khan was asked if these deals with T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Chris Boswell signify a change in philosophy or if it’s a byproduct of the salary cap.

“Every one of those situations is different. A lot of factors go into it. I don’t really want to discuss specifics of any one of those deals. A lot of factors go into each one of them.”

With Chris Boswell‘s deal being the most recent as it was made official just before the press conference, Khan was asked how different it was negotiating a deal such as this as the general manager as opposed to his previous role.

“Yeah, I’d say from their standpoint I don’t think there was much difference. Cole Marcoux was heavily involved who works for me. Not much difference.”

Kenny Pickett

Despite being the final first-round draft pick of former Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert, Omar Khan will have some input into the implementation and acclamation of Kenny Pickett. Khan was asked what would be a successful training camp for Pickett.

“Kenny Pickett? That’s a good question. I would say the growth. He’s a young quarterback. There’s a lot being thrown at him. I would just say from his standpoint, to be able to say on the day he leaves camp that he’s in a lot better position than he was day one. I think that’s important for him. I have all the confidence that he’ll get there.”

Najee Harris

After getting his foot stepped on the previous day, the health of Najee Harris comes even more to the forefront as the Steelers look to shape their running back depth chart. Khan was asked about dividing up the carries at running back in the preseason in order to preserve Harris‘ health come the regular season.

“Coach will manage Najee with respect to the carries and all that. We’re always going to be ready to have the next guy up if needed based on injuries or whatever the situation might be.”

In a follow up question, Khan was asked his level of concern when he saw the starting running back come hopping off the field.

“You never like seeing anyone get hurt. Obviously, Najee is Najee. Don’t like seeing that. Don’t foresee it being an issue.”

Calvin Austin III & George Pickens

As Diontae Johnson continues to not participate in team activities, the opportunity for rookies Calvin Austin and George Pickens increase. Khan was asked about how the Steelers evaluate talent at the wide receiver for the NFL draft.

“We have certain characteristics that we look at in receivers. It’s worked for us. I’m not going to discuss them in public for obvious reasons. We’ve stayed true to our beliefs, and it’s worked for us.”

In a follow-up question, Khan was asked what has impressed him the most from these two players so far.

“Their growth, their maturity, their excitement, their energy. You guys have seen George out there. He brings a lot of energy out there.”

Larry Ogunjobi

One player who is being eased into things as he recovers from an injury last postseason is newly signed defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi. Khan was asked if there was an understanding it might take him a little bit to get ready this season.

“I’ll be honest. We’re just trying to be smart with the situation. Larry O is ready to go. We’re just trying to be smart. We understood where he was, and we wouldn’t have signed him if we weren’t confident that he was going to be ready to go. We’re just trying to be smart. There’s still a lot of football to happen before September 11.”

Omar Khan’s media session can be seen below:

LIVE: GM Omar Khan addresses the media. https://t.co/EsHMm2QVhq

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 2, 2022

Steelers Fantasy Football questions heading into 2022: Part 2

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 11:30am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing to look at Fantasy Football questions surrounding the 2022 Steelers.

Nobody seems to know what type of team the Steelers will be in 2022, which makes the Steelers fantasy outlook just as difficult. The addition of new weapons combined with a quarterback room in a state of transition makes the predicting of individual’s success quite difficult.

Below are some of the most tantalizing questions I believe Steelers fans will be faced with as it pertains to drafting their favorite players on their fantasy teams. We all love being homers and getting a bunch of players from our favorite squads, but if you want a proper balance to your team, that may not be the best strategy. We will dive into more topics like this down below.

If you have any fantasy football questions regarding your draft strategy, message Jeremy Betz (@thebetz93) or myself (@Andrew_Wilbar) on Twitter, and don’t be surprised if you hear that question answered in a future episode of The Steelers Fix, which can be heard every Tuesday on all major podcast platforms. Just search “Behind the Steel Curtain.”

1. Which Steelers receiver is the best value in fantasy drafts?

If we are going strictly by value, I think the answer has to be Chase Claypool. In dynasty leagues, one could make the argument for George Pickens, who is lighting it up in training camp thus far, but in standard redraft leagues, Claypool brings the best value by far, having an average ADP of 106 according to Fantasypros. Diontae Johnson is going as early as the fourth round in many drafts, and I simply cannot justify that as a fantasy owner. He is not efficient with the targets he receives, and it would be almost impossible for Johnson to receive as many targets in 2022 as he has gotten from Ben Roethlisberger the past couple seasons. If Mitch Trubisky is indeed the starting quarterback, I think Claypool has more upside in all formats.

2. Are any Steelers running backs not named Najee Harris worth drafting?

Simply put, no. I am a big Anthony McFarland fan, and I believe he will be the perfect complement to Najee Harris if he can stay healthy, but the mere fact that Pittsburgh just signed Jeremy McNichols and are actively looking into adding another running back makes me think the Steelers do not trust McFarland’s durability. If either McFarland or McNichols can carve out a role, they could provide value as a depth piece on your bench if you are in a PPR league, but both would be waiver wire options rather than draft picks. Benny Snell is simply worthless in all formats.

3. Is there any reason to draft Mitch Trubisky?

Absolutely! If you are in 2-QB or superflex leagues, I would almost consider Trubisky a late-round must-have as a third option on your bench. The offensive system Matt Canada is trying to run fits Trubisky’s strengths to a tee, and a strong group of young receiving weapons gives him way more to work with than he ever had in Chicago. The offensive line is still a big question mark, but Trubisky’s mobility as a runner gives him a safe floor in fantasy. I am excited to see what he does this season, and it would not shock me at all if Mitch Trubisky finishes as a top 10-15 fantasy quarterback.

What are your answers to these questions? Do you like the idea of drafting Mitch Trubisky in fantasy? Which Steelers receiver are you trying to target in your fantasy drafts? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Under the radar observations from Week 1 of Steelers Training Camp

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 10:00am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With seemingly every Steelers media outlets covering the same stories each day, here are some under the radar observations from training camp practices.

The first week of the 2022 Steelers Training Camp is in the books.

There have been breakout performances from some rookies, an extremely fluid three headed quarterback competition, and a slightly controversial holding in situation. The Steelers highest paid defense in the NFL has basically rode roughshod over the Steelers extremely young new look offense, which just so happens to be one of the lowest paid offenses in the league, as currently constructed.

All of these situations where to be expected, and highly predictable. They have also been well covered by every media outlet, including BTSC, your one stop shop for everything Pittsburgh Steelers related.

With that mission statement in mind, here are some under the radar observations you may have missed from the first week of camp, even if you have been keeping up with the daily BTSC Training Camp Tracker articles. If you haven't, you should be.

Quarterbacks

Although there has been a ton of coverage directed at the position, nothing really notable has occurred, yet. Mason Rudolph has been the most accurate and consistent, Mitch Trubisky has generated the most chunk plays by far, and Kenny Pickett is predictably still trying to find his footing. Pickett has been sensational on off schedule plays outside the pocket, but inconsistent in the pocket. The biggest surprise of the week would be the fact that it appears to be a two-man QB competition at the moment, with Rudolph and Trubisky getting the majority of reaps. That could all change once pads go on this week.

Running backs

Not a lot to report here, other than the fact that Najee Harris looks destined to be featured in a fitness magazine article in the near future. I did read that undrafted rookie Jaylen Warren looks compact, powerful, and elusive. Honestly, he reminds me of Barry Foster on film. In other words, a bowling ball with tree trunk legs. Tomlin is reportedly impressed by his competitiveness. That's good to hear. The Steelers did workout former Pro Bowler Jordan Howard during the week, for what it's worth.

Tight Ends

Pat Freiermuth is dealing with a hamstring injury, limiting his availability. Zach Gentry looks massive and mobile, and appears determined to add seam buster to his already impressive run-blocking resume. Connor Heyward appears more athletic than advertised.

Wide Receivers

Multiple players are taking full advantage of Diontae Johnson's hold in, and Chase Claypool's absence due to a shoulder injury. The Steelers two impressive rookies have been well documented, so let's focus on the rest of the depth chart. Like the aforementioned Najee Harris, Anthony Miller is jacked up. He looks strong, fast, and focused. Catching everything that comes his way. On the other end of the spectrum, Miles Boykin has let a couple of big play opportunities slip literally through his fingers during the first couple days of practice. Let’s hope that was just a bit of nerves affecting his focus. Gunner Olszewski has been a pleasant surprise as a receiver. Finally, Tyler Vaughns has made a couple of noteworthy plays already. Hopefully that will continue when the pads come on.

Offensive Line

It's hard for the offensive linemen to distinguish themselves before the pads come on and the hitting begins, but here's the buzz. James Daniels looks like the real deal, both as a player and person. Huge upgrade for the line from last season, and is making a great first impression. Dan Moore Jr. appears more sculpted, mature, and confident. Kendrick Green admittedly is more comfortable at guard, and his mobility is a good fit for the Steelers new concepts, but his other limitations at the position still give me pause. Rookie tackle Jake Dixon is a brawler who likes to mix it up. Some of his defensive teammates have already taken exception to his tactics. Stay tuned, as things could get interesting.

Defensive Line

The defensive linemen are in a similar situation as the offensive linemen, until the pads start popping. Nothing really noteworthy out of this position, other than rookie DeMarvin Leal and former USFL DT Doug Costin. Although it was widely reported that Leal was over 300 lbs. prior to camp, he showed up looking extremely fit and explosive. His better than advertised combative hands have made him a disruptive nuisance for most Steelers blockers to handle. Hopefully that continues with the pads on this week. Don't be surprised if Leal gets some reps at edge in the near future. Doug Costin has NFL experience, as he actually started nine games for the Jacksonville Jaguars after going undrafted in 2020, and has reportedly garnered a little attention during the early stages of camp. He has some Tyson Alualu qualities actually. Low center of gravity, solid anchor, and sneaky quickness.

Linebackers

Without pads, we are basically left with pass rush and coverage to discuss. Alex Highsmith once again looks ready to take the next step in his development. T.J. Watt is a man among boys honestly. Best defender on the planet. Inside backers Myles Jack and Devin Bush have been impressive in coverage, which should come as no surprise. The fact that Robert Spillane and Mark Robinson have looked solid as well has to be a shock to many observers. Brian Flores presence may already be paying dividends.

Secondary

Some very interesting storylines emerging early in camp. Arthur Maulet created a stir with his strong play over the first couple of days, some of it on the outside, enough to cause some spectators to wonder aloud if he warranted consideration for more playing time this season. That quickly dissipated once Levi Wallace returned to action after a short illness. Regardless, it's good to see Maulet more comfortable and confident in year two with the Steelers. Undrafted rookie CB Chris Steele has been extremely competitive and combative according to all reports. He could be this year's Justin Gilbert, and legitimately compete for roster consideration, although practice squad is more realistic obviously.

Minkah Fitzpatrick and Miles Killebrew have been missing in action due to injuries, so Karl Joseph and Damontae Kazee have been soaking up the opportunities to shine. Joseph looks more comfortable and impactful in year two with the Steelers. He looks like a good fit for Flores defensive wizardry. Kazee seems energized and enthusiastic to be with the Steelers, although one of the coaches should have been up in his grill over an over exuberant hit he laid on diminutive rookie speedster Calvin Austin lll on Friday. No way Austin was expecting the blow, considering it was not a padded practice session. That all changes on Monday.

Then, by all means, fire away.

Training Camp Recap, Day 5: First padded practice brings the physicality

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 8:30am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back at Training Camp, and it is time to check out what went down during the latest practice!

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back at Saint Vincent College for the first time since 2019, and fans have descended on Latrobe, PA in hopes of catching a glimpse of the 2022 team.

What went down during the latest training camp practice? That is where this article comes in. Check out all that was said, as well as photos and videos from the day’s workouts.

Here we go...

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot of questions marks across the roster, and it will take every practice and preseason game for the coaching staff to find a way to get answers to those questions. There were a lot of storylines to come out of Monday's practice, and we highlight some of those below:

7 Shots

Monday was the first padded practice for the Steelers, and it meant the pads were popping. During live tackling drills, like the 7 Shots drill, there were now running plays in the mix. Therefore, check out the breakdown of the Steelers Monday 7 Shots drill. That's right, Pickett got 2nd team reps.

To recap 7 shots
Trubisky: 0/2, Harris scored one, stopped short on other
Pickett 0/2
Rudolph: 0/0, but RB scored

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

'Backs on 'Backers

Of course with players donning pads, what most fans were looking forward to watching was the classic running backs vs. linebackers drill. Or as it is referred to within the Steelers organization: 'Backs on 'Backers. Here are some tid-bits of who did well, and who struggled in the physical drill.

Backs on backers: Loudest pop was Watt stepping up to meet Jack and Jack knocking him down. Little old school from a more physical era.

— James C Wexell (@jimwexell) August 1, 2022

Undrafted rookie running back Jaylen Warren also has stood out in backs on backers. He did a nice job in three reps against Mark Robinson, getting kudos from the coaches.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 1, 2022

Delontae Scott with a couple of strong reps against Zach Gentry in backs on backers. Gentry came back and won later, but perhaps that's why they felt OK getting rid of Tyree Johnson.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 1, 2022

Connor Heyward struggled with Genard Avery on the edge. Avery is really quick.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 1, 2022

Mike Tomlin challenged rookie Jaylen Warren with “a little varsity action” and had him go against Robert Spillane after taking down rookie Mark Robinson. Spillane beat him soundly the first time, but Warren put up a better fight in the second.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

Najee Harris is the most vocal of the Backs. And the biggest (of the non-TEs at least)

So when he gets beat, like he just did by Robert Spillane, the defense whoops it up in celebrating the “win” pic.twitter.com/G1uWBAKmfw

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 1, 2022

QB Shuffle

As mentioned earlier in the article when referencing the 7 Shots drill, Kenny Pickett was receiving 2nd team repetitions, but it wasn't just for 7 Shots. Mike Tomlin gave Pickett the entire practice with the primary backups.

Kenny Pickett got second-team snaps today in seven shots. Also getting second-team snaps in team run.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 1, 2022

Injury Update

Sadly, the Steelers' injury list continues to grow, and the team received quite a scare on Monday when Najee Harris hobbled off the field. Here is an updated list of players who remain out of practice, and the reasoning behind their absence.

  • Marcus Allen (Hamstring)
  • Pat Freiermuth (Hamstring)
  • Chase Claypool (Shoulder)
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick (Wrist)
  • Tyson Alualu (Ankle)

Najee Harris, who as stated limped off the field, got his foot stepped on during a team drill. Mike Tomlin downplayed the injury to media after practice. On top of Harris, Jeremy McNichols dealing with a shoulder which held the new running back out of practice too.

Mike Tomlin said Najee Harris got his foot stepped on, so they shut him down the rest of practice. Not a big deal. Looks like it is a left foot.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 1, 2022

Mike Tomlin downplays Najee Harris’ injury says it’s not significant pic.twitter.com/XCH1W26V4y

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 1, 2022

Brian Flores Effect

How is Brian Flores impacting the Steelers' defense? If nothing more, he's helping the team learn how to prepare and plan in a way where they are provided with the exact information they need to succeed. Just listen to Myles Jack talk about Flores' impact on him as a player.

New Steelers ILB Myles Jack is a big fan of the Steelers new position coach, Brian Flores pic.twitter.com/kRDz0HwPhX

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 1, 2022

DJ Still Out

Another day, another wide receiver signing a big deal. Another day that player isn't Diontae Johnson, and his hold-in continues.

Tomlin said no change in the practice status of Diontae Johnson and that we will see what happens tomorrow

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 1, 2022

CA3 Still Dynamic

Were you one of the fans who thought once the pads came on Calvin Austin III would be held in check? Are you a fan who thought the diminutive wide receiver wouldn't be able to cut it at the NFL level? It might just be one day, but he's proving doubters wrong every step of the way.

Well, if the “Calvin Austin III looks real good” takes last week came with the caveat that “he’s tiny and there are no pads on; wait til he does it with live tackling..

..Now, pads are on— and Austin is still popping. Actually looks even more slippery now that there are tacklers

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 1, 2022

Offense Starting to Gel

Don't look now, but there were positive reports coming from the offense during Monday's workout. These have been few so far in camp, but a good sight to see for Steelers fans everywhere.

Back-to-back impressive plays by the first team offense in red zone.

Anthony McFarland ripped off a TD run, getting by Devin Bush, while Dan Moore Jr. destroyed Cam Sutton.

Then, Trubisky hit Cody White for about a 20-yard TD in the corner of the end zone.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

Mike Tomlin Post-Practice Press Conference

Coach Tomlin talks about Monday's #SteelersCamp practice, provides an injury update and more. pic.twitter.com/8kjLNjGaiZ

— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) August 1, 2022

Video

.@DVEMike & @maxstarks78 wrap up Monday's #SteelersCamp practice, talk to Myles Jack following practice and more.@UPMC | Full : https://t.co/7caf6r9Wuf pic.twitter.com/R16z5NRtKO

— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) August 1, 2022

George Pickens: "Just keep working." pic.twitter.com/VepwlCW0tv

— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) August 1, 2022

Photos

Steelers head Mike Tomlin looks on as quarterback Kenny Pickett throws, as he run with the second team today at practice at Saint Vincent College. pic.twitter.com/nL1sFEkall

— Charles Palla (@ChazPalla) August 2, 2022

OLB T.J. has found the energy to work pass-rush moves with OLBs Highsmith, Tuszka and/or work the autograph line after practices. Impressive given how much stuff Watt blows up most days during practices. pic.twitter.com/MFaxwE7BIh

— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) August 1, 2022

Backs on Backers is underway.
A picture story of Alex Highsmith vs Zach Gentry pic.twitter.com/m28WMPK3dP

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 1, 2022

7 players mentioned by Mike Tomlin following Monday’s training camp practice

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 7:15am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking to the media following practice each day of training camp, the Steelers head coach answered a few questions about specific players.

As the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers continue to practice for training camp at St. Vincent College on Monday, we were also graced with a media session from head coach Mike Tomlin. For that reason, it’s time for another installment of the “players mentioned” article. Remember these are current players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.

Mason Rudolph & Kenny Pickett

On Monday, the order in which the quarterbacks appeared changed as Kenny Pickett got the second-team reps while Mason Rudolph went with the threes. Coach Tomlin was asked his thought process behind the move.

“There will be more of that. All of those guys are running in all groups, it’s just part of team development.”

In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked if we should read anything into the switch.

“You should not, but I’m sure you will.”

Jaylen Warren

Being the first padded practice, there were a number of young players doing specific drills for the first time. Coach Tomlin was asked about what he has seen in Running back Jaylen Warren now that the pads have come on.

“He has an appetite for the competition, that’s a good thing. He’s learning and learning fast. I think the most significant thing that has captured my attention is that he seems really comfortable in these waters from a competition standpoint.”

Diontae Johnson

Despite not participating in team activities, Diontae Johnson will continue to be a topic of discussion during training camp. Coach Tomlin was asked if there was any change in his situation.

“There wasn’t any change today, we’ll see what tomorrow holds.”

Najee Harris

Despite explaining in his opening statement that Najee Harris did not finish practice because someone stepped on his foot and it’s not a big deal, Coach Tomlin was asked how much he has to wait with Harris’ participation in order to be cautious.

“Somebody stepped on him.”

Delontae Scott & Genard Avery

With the Steelers performing their “backs on backer” drill for the first time in 2022, some of the players who may have not been a big topic of discussion thus far in camp had a moment to prove themselves. Two examples are linebackers Delontae Scott and Genard Avery. Coach Tomlin was asked what he saw in those two players.

“Both guys have done a nice job. We’ll just look at the tape and continue to monitor their growth and development. I expect Avery to show that he’s an NFL football player because his resume displays that. That’s just one component of his evaluation.”

Mike Tomlin’s media session can be seen HERE on the Steelers YouTube channel.

It’s a good thing Minkah Fitzpatrick injured his wrist on a bike and not on Tik Tok

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 6:00am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Minkah Fitzpatrick began Steelers training camp on the NFI (Non-Football Injury) list after falling off of his bike and injuring his wrist while on vacation. It’s a good thing Fitzpatrick didn’t injure himself on Tik Tok.

Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick began training camp on the NFI (Non-Football Injury) list after falling off of his bike and injuring his wrist while on vacation.

Don’t worry, as per head coach Mike Tomlin, the injury is minor and shouldn’t prevent the accomplished safety, who just signed the biggest contract in the history of safeties, from beginning the 2022 regular season at top strength.

The first thing I thought when I first heard the news was, “Man, they’re going to come after him!” Nothing. Instead, someone said, “Remember when JuJu Smith-Schuster didn’t injure himself, but theoretically could have, while participating in the wildly popular (for some reason) milkcrate challenge last summer and posting it on social media? I’m still peeved about that.”

OK, I made that quote up. Nobody said that, but they might as well have. I mean, are you kidding me? Smith-Schuster isn’t allowed to do a challenge and not injure himself, but Fitzpatrick is allowed to fall off of a bike and do the opposite of not injuring himself? Would Smith-Schuster have been allowed to injure himself on a bike last summer or the previous summers when he was still employed by the Steelers?

I can answer that question for you, and the answer is, no, Smith-Schuster would not have been allowed to injure himself while riding a bike. Actually, he would have been allowed during his rookie season when he used one for transportation thanks to not having the ability to drive a car.

Btw, I'm referring to the fans and the media when I say "allowed" as it pertains to Fitzpatrick and Smith-Schuster and their activities away from football.

Anyway, people remembered who Smith-Schuster was by his second season: A receiver.

Yes, Smith-Schuster is a wide receiver, and this inevitably made every non-football activity of his a potential hindrance to either his health, his ability to consume football 24/7 or the Steelers' chances of winning thanks to firing their opponents up something fierce (logo dancing as a guest in another man’s football home).

Don’t misunderstand, I’m not begrudging Fitzpatrick his right to ride a bike while going on vacation—or even simply going on vacation (as long as he took his playbook with him, of course)—but where’s the rage? Again, Fitzpatrick just signed the biggest contract in the history of safeties, a deal that could one day prevent the Steelers from going out and signing an old free agent who will come to town and pretend to be happy to be a backup before passively-aggressively forcing the team to trade or release him over a lack of playing time.

How could Fitzpatrick be so selfish? How can you be so fine with it? I know what it is, Steelers fans just love their defensive players and will always give them the benefit of the doubt.

“The defense is on the field way too long thanks to this inept offense!” is a popular refrain after your average Steelers game where the defense takes one on the chin. It’s never the defense’s fault—unless Bud Dupree and/or Terrell Edmunds are involved, of course. The offense just needs to pull its own weight.

“See those guys in the gold? They’re the tough guys. See those guys in the white? They’re the sissies.” The quote is brought to you by a grandfather I overheard talking to his young grandchild during a visit to Steelers training camp way back in 2011. In case you couldn’t put two and two together, this man was referring to the Steelers defense as the unit with the tough guys, while the offense consisted of...well, you know.

It’s too bad those tough guys can’t ride a bike without falling off of it, however.

I’m not normally mad when a player has the kind of accident that Minkah Fitzpatrick did, but in memory of JuJu Smith-Schuster and his love for off-the-field fun, how dare you act so irresponsibly, Minkah?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go stir the pot with this unnecessary debate.

Podcast Roundup: All the latest of the BTSC family podcasts

Tue, 08/02/2022 - 4:30am

Get the latest BTSC podcast content in the ‘Podcast Roundup’.

The Pittsburgh Steelers seasons come and go with no real offseason, at least not for those diehard fans. For those fans, the preseason bleeds into the regular season, the regular season into the offseason, free agency and the NFL Draft. It is a vicious, never-ending cycle.

Nonetheless, we here at BTSC, and our podcast platform, are here with you every step of the way. In the past we have given you the podcasts in individual articles on the website, but now we’ve decided to go with a ‘Podcast Roundup’ article which has the latest three podcasts for your enjoyment. The reasoning behind this is to take up less space on the site for the great written content we have at BTSC.

With that being said or typed, enjoy the shows below with a brief description of each show:

BAD Language: Camp St. Vincent is a marathon, not a sprint

Everybody’s got an opinion. Some subscribe to conventional wisdom. others are ill-informed, while some are unorthodox and way out there. So, BTSC podcast producer Bryan Anthony Davis decided to make no apologies and share his black-and-gold brand of enlightenment. Join BAD preaching his own gospel of the hypocycloids on the new show, BAD Language. This week, it’s all about patience in the preseason.

  • News and Notes
  • There can’t be instant gratification in an open quarterback competition
  • and MUCH MORE!
Steelers Hangover: Steelers receivers shine, does that mean the secondary is dim?

Every day it seems we get a report out of Latrobe that a Steelers receiver is doing something incredible. What does that say about the first-stringers covering them? Join Bryan Anthony Davis, Tony Defeo and Shannon White with discussion of this and more on the Steelers Hangover.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • Are the Steelers receivers great or is the secondary not showing their best?
  • and MUCH MORE!
From the Steelers’ Cutting Room Floor: Slicing through the training camp hype

There is so much happening each and every day while the Steelers practicing in Latrobe. Some players are being hyped more than others way too early. It’s time to dig down deep on that. Geoffrey Benedict examines this and more on the latest episode of BTSC’s “From the Cutting Room Floor”.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • Dissecting the ins and outs of camp
  • Early recipients of hype
  • and MUCH MORE!

Geoffrey walks you through everything you need to know regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Be sure to check out this and all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

Steelers sign Chis Boswell to a four-year extension

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 4:41pm
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers lock up their reliable kicker for the next five seasons.

Following the Steelers first padded practice at training camp on Monday, it was reported kicker Chris Boswell signed a four-year extension with the Steelers. The deal keeps Boswell in Pittsburgh through the 2026 season. This per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Steelers are giving kicker Chris Boswell a new four-year, $20 million extension that includes $12.5 million guaranteed, his agent Jeff Nalley confirmed Monday. The four-year extension ties Boswell with Justin Tucker as the highest-paid kickers in NFL history.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 1, 2022

According to Schefter, the deal adds four years and $20 million to Boswell‘s current contract. Before signing the extension, Boswell was set to make $3.26 million in 2022 and had a salary cap hit of just under $4.95 million according to overthecap.com. The exact breakdown of Boswell‘s contract and how it will affect the 2022 salary cap are not known at this time.

Signed by the Steelers in 2015, Chris Boswell has a career field goal percentage of 88.3%. After struggling during the 2018 season, one where Boswell missed time at the end of the year due to injury and only had a 65% field-goal percentage, Boswell has been at 90% or higher the last three seasons. In all, Boswell is 182 for 206 in field-goal attempts with a long and 59 yards in 2020. Boswell was selected as the AFC representative in the Pro Bowl in 2017.

With the new money and years coming in a $20 million for four seasons, Boswell‘s $5 million per year ties him with the Baltimore Ravens’ Justin Tucker as the highest-paid kickers in the NFL.

Coming into the 2022 offseason, Chris Boswell was one of several Steelers under contract this year who could possibly get an extension before the regular season. The Steelers locked up safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in June well before many expected the deal to go down. Still remaining on the list is wide receiver Diontae Johnson, who has not been participating in team activities in training camp as he hopes for an extension.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued coverage as the Steelers prepare for the 2022 NFL season

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